If our health care system were simple, it might be easier to make out what is happening legislatively and who is and who isn’t impacted by the Affordable Care Act. For health care policy novices, there is a law called ERISA (Employee Retiree Income Security Act) from 1974. Among other things, it exempts self-funded, self-insured employers from any state regulation of health care benefits.
What this means is that these ERISA Plans are not subject to state insurance regulations. Which raises the question? Are they subject to Federal regulations and provisions? The answer is: it depends.
Thanks to a very nice man in the Washington State Insurance Commissioner’s Office, who led me to a great resource I would like to share with you. The Congressional Research Service which conducts research and makes reports to Congress. http://www.loc.gov/crsinfo/
I found a useful, easy to read summary of the provisions of the new law. http://www.nhpf.org/library/handouts/Fernandez.slides_05-14-10.pdf
I wanted to share this with you as I prepare an upcoming series on the landmines ahead for health care reform. And, possible ways to avoid them.
Cheers and more later, Kathleen